Inspirations: Phil LaMarr

Inspirations: Phil LaMarr

One of my most profound inspirations for my voice acting work is Phil LaMarr (1967-Present).

Most people who watch live-action films remember him as Marvin from Pulp Fiction (1994) or a train passenger from Spider-Man 2 (2004) or a man trying to buy Will Ferrell’s house in Step Brothers (2008). However, he has been involved in MadTV, Futurama (1999), Evil Con Carne (2000), the Jak & Daxter games, Samurai Jack (2001), Static Shock (2002) and many other voice-related work.

A Yale graduate, Phil LaMarr is one of the few people who can do a great voice replication of Michael Jackson, Prince, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Ice-T, Billy Crystal, Kevin Kline and many other people. He was able to voice certain characters when Chris Rock is not available.

Phil LaMarr was able to do voices of characters that have different ethnicities, age groups and genders. For example, in an episode of Futurama, he voiced a robot from its infancy to adulthood. And in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, he voiced a character’s grandma.

Phil LaMarr was able to pull off the triple duty to voice Aquaman, Static Shock and Green Lantern, all from DC Comics, which LaMarr is a huge fan of alongside Marvel.

He even based his voice work based on people he met in his life. He inspired his Preacherbot voice off of a priest he met in his childhood.

Just after the 2016 World Series ended with the Chicago Cubs won, I asked him a question on Twitter relating to the main character he voiced in Evil Con Carne since the character is against bears. Phil LaMarr is a huge fan of baseball, which made him answer my question.

Christian Frates: “How would Hector Con Carne feel now that the Cubs won?”

Phil LaMarr: “He’s partial to bears.”

Phil LaMarr’s work encouraged me to go beyond my voice range.


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